Fueling debate

February 1, 2004

When Bavarian Rudolph Diesel developed his famous engine over 100 years ago, did he intend to create a society completely dependent on oil? Or, did he intend to create an engine that could be fueled by products grown on farms?

New Orleans, U.S.-based Tickell Productions’ HD doc Fields of Fuel explores this question, and the notion that a simple solution to the crisis-prone oil system has always existed.

The copro with Beverly Hills, U.S.-based Environmental Media Association takes a trans-national road trip across eight countries to explore the different applications of biodiesel – a fuel made from vegetable oil or even recycled cooking oil, and can be used in virtually any diesel engine. Tickell interviews farmers, politicians, businessmen and activists from both sides of the refined diesel-versus-biodiesel debate.

Fields of Fuel will come in two formats – a 90-minute feature length film and a 13 X 22-minute series. Both formats will combine archival footage, interviews, 3D animation, and material shot in Australia, the U.K., Germany, France, and Nigeria.

For this US$750,000 doc, private donors provided most of the financial backing, while Panavision donated the use of HD cameras. The anticipated wrap date is summer 2004. At press time, Tickell was in discussions with National Geographic and the Discovery Channel for a North American broadcast. Vanessa Mariga

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